For children at the Ukrainian Safe Haven in East Sooke, B.C., Monday was a day to just be a kid and put the last six months behind them.

"It’s a big change," said Anna Buchueiva, who fled Ukraine at the beginning of the war.

She and her two children had to navigate their way through six different countries to come to Canada.

"We do this because of [her]," said Buchueiva as she pointed to her daughter. "She needs a better future."

Now, Buchueiva and 12 others have found safety at the Ukrainian Safe Haven, and Monday marked the start of a fun week.

"We’ve got a day camp going on for 39 Ukrainian kids and 11 Canadian kids," said Brian Holowaychuk, owner of the Ukrainian Safe Haven.

The camp is being facilitated by the good folks at the former Sooke resort that was converted to shelter Ukrainian refugees.

"The mood is fantastic," said Holowaychuk. "It’s like a big extended family."

Events for the camp are being put on by Active Discovery out of Southern California.

"We exist to help kids going through tough times get active and get exposed to a few things like music, art and things that might speak to them," said Mary Ann Sprague-Denison, founder of Active Discovery.

Sprague-Denison had read a story online about Safe Haven and its owners' efforts to turn the empty resort into a safe place for families running from the war.

After learning more about the property, she offered up her service to put on the week-long camp.

"Everyone deserves a childhood," said Sprague-Denison on Monday.

The camp seems to be a hit with the children taking part in it.

"It’s really good that in Canada they made this camp so [we] can communicate and learn some English," said Danna Okhrimenko, an 11-year-old from central Ukraine.

It's also been an opportunity for kids to meet children from other countries.

"One of my friends that I just made here, my best friend, is from the Ukraine," said Dominic Frain-Cross, from Victoria.

For mothers like Maria who left Kyiv while nine-months pregnant, the camp has been an opportunity to meet other adults as well.

Some parents and refugees have also had to leave their husbands in Ukraine to fight the war against Russia.

"I am very nervous for him, of course," said the mother of two.

On Monday, everyone at the camp was safe, doing their best to forget about the problems at home, one giggle at a time.